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Hoe trage berichtgeving huisarts en pati√ęnt hindert
Klinische les
Just A.H. Eekhof, Margot Heijmans, Angelique A.C.M. Meskers-van Geel en W.J.J. (Pim) Assendelft

A snail leaves trails - How delayed provision of information affects the general practitioner and patient

Two patients were seen by medical specialists at hospital, but the general practitioner received their discharge letters too late. The first patient was a man aged 50 referred to the emergency department of the hospital with suspected pulmonary embolism. He was sent home and was found dead two days later. The cause of death was pulmonary embolism. The day after, the GP received the discharge letter from the hospital, in which no attention was paid to the possibility of a pulmonary embolism. The second patient, a 57-year-old man, was send to the hospital by his GP for a suspected urinary tract infection. The urologist diagnosed a prostate carcinoma, but the GP was not informed for 4 months. If the GP had been informed in time, the death of the first patient maybe could have been prevented. The second patient was very anxious and uncertain for a long time, as the GP could not offer appropriate guidance and support, due to a lack of information. In both cases the medical specialist did not follow the guidelines for mutual communication established by the professional associations of GPs and medical specialists.

Conflict of interest: none declared. Financial support: none declared.